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May 10, 2012  

200 Resolutions, 100 Members of Congress, 85 Organizations and Four States: By the Numbers, Support Grows for Overturning Citizens United

Nationwide Effort Under Way to Pass Local Resolutions Calling for a Constitutional Amendment to Rid Elections of Corporate Cash

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A growing number of people want corporate money out of politics, as evidenced by recent support across the country of a constitutional amendment to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which allows corporations to spend unlimited amounts from their treasuries to influence elections. The Resolutions Week campaign, a push by Public Citizen and partner organizations to pass local resolutions nationwide that call for a constitutional amendment, is under way and gaining steam.

One need only look at the numbers to see the rising movement:

  • More than 200 local government resolutions calling for a constitutional amendment have passed nationwide in the wake of the Citizens United decision. Since Public Citizen launched its Resolutions Week effort in late March, resolutions have been passed at a rate of approximately once a day or more;
  • At least 80 additional resolution efforts are under way since Resolutions Week began;
  • At least 100 members of Congress have backed a constitutional amendment, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and U.S. Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Richard Durbin (D-Ill.). President Barack Obama also has voiced support for a constitutional amendment;
  • 85 national organizations have called for a constitutional amendment, 16 of which are helping to organize Resolutions Week;
  • Petitions calling for a constitutional amendment have garnered more than 1 million signatures. Public Citizen’s petition alone has more than 100,000 signatures.

 One also could look at the geography: 

  • Resolutions have passed in Hawaii, New Mexico and Vermont, and a majority of the Maryland General Assembly has signed on to a formal letter to Congress calling for an amendment;
  • In California, a resolution was passed by the state Assembly and a key state Senate committee, and awaits a final vote by the full state Senate;
  • In Rhode Island, a resolution was approved by the state Assembly on Tuesday and awaits final reconciliation with a concurrent resolution that already passed the state Senate; 
  • Resolutions have passed in one chamber in the Alaska and Iowa state legislatures, and have been introduced in at least 25 states.

Citizens United enabled a small group of superrich individuals and giant corporations to dominate our elections – and things are going to get much worse as we approach November,” said Public Citizen President Robert Weissman. “People across the country understand that we need a constitutional amendment to reverse Citizens United and rescue our democracy – and they are demanding that one be enacted.”

Added Mark Hays, campaign coordinator for Public Citizen’s Democracy Is For People campaign, “These local efforts show how people are taking democracy into their own hands and doing the heavy lifting it takes to build a movement for an amendment.” 

The week of June 11, Resolutions Week, Public Citizen will showcase the many local resolution efforts, including victories, resolutions on the cusp of passing and personal stories from activists.

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Public Citizen is a national, nonprofit consumer advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit www.citizen.org.

Public Citizen and its partners in the Resolutions Week initiative are providing information to activists about how to approach local council members, how to get people involved and how to publicize their efforts. Organizational partners in this initiative include People For the American Way, Move to Amend, Corporate Accountability International, Main Street Alliance, Common Cause, Alliance for Democracy, Bullfrog Films, California Church Impact, the Coffee Party, Communication Workers of America, Democracy Unlimited, Get the Dough Out, Story of Stuff and U.S. PIRG. The initiative is also supported by the congressional offices of U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and U.S. Reps. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.), Donna Edwards (D-Md.) and Keith Ellison (D-Minn.). 

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